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Aristolochia indica

Family

Aristolochiaceae

Botanical Name

Aristolochia indica L.

Linnaeus, C. (1753) Species Plantarum 2: 960. Type: India.

Common name

Birthwort

Stem

A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm.

Leaves

Leaf blades about 3.5-12 x 1.5-6.8 cm, petioles about 1.2-2.5 cm long.

Flowers

Pedicel + ovary (hypanthium) about 25 mm long, one gradually tapering into the other. Perianth curved to almost U-shaped. Perianth tube about 30 mm long overall including the inflated base. Apical lobe about 30 x 10 mm. Stamens 6, fused to form a structure about 4-5 mm diam. Anthers sessile. Stigmas 6. Ovary 6-locular. Ovules numerous in each locule.

Fruit

Capsules consist of a thickened seed bearing section about 3 cm long and a much thinner section also about 3 cm long which splits into a number of thread-like structures attached to the valves of the capsule. Seeds cordate, about 7-8 x 7-8 mm including the wing. Embryo minute, < 1 mm long, located in the pointed section of the seed.

Seedlings

Cotyledons glabrous, about 7-19 x 5-7 mm, petioles about 2 mm long. First leaf blade glabrous, about 8-10 x 3-5 mm with a petiole about 5 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade lanceolate, penninerved but 3-veined at the base, apex acuminate to caudate, base truncate. Two ridges, one on each side of the stem, run down from the point of attachment of each petiole. Petiole grooved on the upper surface.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT. Altitudinal range probably quite small, the only collection seen being made just above sea level. Grows in monsoon forest.

Natural History

Apparently only naturalised on Channel Island, Darwin Harbour, N.T. Ross & Halford (2007).

NT

X

Slender Vine

X

RFK Code

2538